Dec. 21, 2004
Even managers should take time to smell the roses.

To those among you who are breathlessly marching to the rapid beat of a merciless drum that rarely gives you time to catch your creative breathes, I have some suggestions. Happily, I've discovered them in my experience, in the experiences of others, in my talking, in my listening, and in my reading. Motivational speaker and writer Zig Ziglar, in his book Top Performance (1986, Berkley Publishing Group), says "Management's imperative is to cultivate its human resources. What the workforce really wants is management leadership whose competence and concern they can trust." He goes on, "Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things." Then he asks, "Why is it we never have time to do it right, but we always have time to do it over?" This ad found in the lost-and-found section of a newspaper says it eloquently: "LOST: Somewhere between sunrise and sunset--one golden hour encrusted with 60 silver minutes, each studded with 60 diamond seconds. No reward is offered. They are lost and gone forever." Each and every one of us who is charged with leadership responsibility has the need -- and the obligation -- to take our time. To take time to think. To take time to know. To take time to do. And to take time to grow. Each of us has to discover a unique way to start his or her creative process. One very successful chief executive I know generates ideas by beating drums in a sound-proof room in his basement. Another stimulates his innovations by flying his Cessna. Another jump-starts his idea engine by hitting golf balls on the driving range. Another ignites his creative fires by running marathons. Still another bakes pastries. Works puzzles. Or plays the piano. I write poetry: Take Your Time When breezes are warm and skies are blue, I steal away for an hour or two, And quietly hide from the city's scene, In a sunny glen where the streams are green, And there I sit skipping pebbles and stones, Enjoying my precious moments alone. As turbulent waters rush and excite, And multihued rocks reflect the light, In the cool, deep depths where eddies play, Where waters gurgle and swirl away, My thoughts, like currents, race at will, Filling my mind with adventurous thrills. The rustling leaves on the nearby hill, Blend in the mating of rocks and rill. And my restless mind wanders at will, Capturing thoughts that splash and spill, Unchecked, unshackled, unseen, untried, On a fanciful, mind-stretching creative ride. The water's rush, its frolicking surge, Inspires a deep, inquisitive urge, To assess my thoughts, the old and new, In the clean, fresh smell of the morning dew, And as my ideas evolve and unravel, I often find gems among the gravel. Management is the art of getting things you want done the way you want them done. Leadership is the art of getting things you want done the way you want them done through the efforts of other people because they want to do what you want done. I maintain that you can achieve anything you want to achieve if you take some of your time to figure out what your employees want to achieve. Employees respond when you take some of your time to encourage them, empower them, challenge them, compliment them, and reward them. Simply put, you will be a success if you follow these rules: Take Your Time, No. 2 To hoe 'till you know, Stow 'till you grow, Go with the flow, Throw in some dough, Bestow the glow, And know when to go. Sal F. Marino is chairman emeritus of Penton Media Inc. and an IW contributing editor.

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!